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Kraken Katastrophe - Alexander Bartlow (8/12/2007)

Ahh, Multiplayer Magic. A magical place where power far outweighs speed, and the only mode in Magic of which I am aware where it is possible to 'play for frags.'

If you were to venture into the casual meta-game mess that is my living room, Dan would be the first person you would surely find noteworthy. Dan packs his deck in sleeves with a flaming skull on the back - and by the third game that he 'wins' by Channel
Channel
ChannelSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Until end of turn, you may add colorless mana to your mana pool at a cost of 1 life per point of mana. These additions are played with the speed of an interrupt. Effects that prevent or redirect damage may not be used to counter this loss of life.
+ Hurricane
Hurricane
HurricaneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All players and flying creatures suffer X damage.
, thus killing absolutely everyone and everything, you understand the manifold deep and layered meaning of the flaming skull. Were his chest a cannon, Dan would fire his heart into the red zone.

Dan is happy only if no-one is left standing - even if he scoops to make it happen.

Dan plays for frags.

Dan's deck has revolutionized our meta-game. One player will build a deck designed to get a Crush of Wurms
Crush of Wurms
Crush of WurmsSet: Judgment
Cost:
9
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Christopher Moeller

Text:
Put 3 6/6 green Wurm tokens into play. Flashback 9GGG.
out fast enough to take down Dan's life total enough to put the rest of us out of Hurricane
Hurricane
HurricaneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All players and flying creatures suffer X damage.
range. One will craft a 'Pickles' deck to ensure that, even after Dan has played his third Mana Flare
Mana Flare
Mana FlareSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Whenever either player taps a land for mana, it produces 1 extra mana of the appropriate type.
, he is still bingo mana. I chose to go with a Cloudpost
Cloudpost
CloudpostSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Locus
Rarity:
C
Number:
280
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Power:
Land
Toughness:
Locus
Text:
Cloudpost comes into play tapped. T: Add 1 to your mana pool for each Locus in play.
+ Vesuva
Vesuva
VesuvaSet: Time Spiral
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
281
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
As Vesuva comes into play, you may choose a land in play. If you do, Vesuva comes into play tapped as a copy of the chosen land.
deck that made sure that I could get the winning fireball off faster than Dan could draw into his combo.

Yet - all of these solutions were inadequate. All of them relied upon us being able to get a good enough draw to beat Dan's inevitable nihilistic Armageddon
Armageddon
ArmageddonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
All lands in play are destroyed.
- or, in some cases, his Channel
Channel
ChannelSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Until end of turn, you may add colorless mana to your mana pool at a cost of 1 life per point of mana. These additions are played with the speed of an interrupt. Effects that prevent or redirect damage may not be used to counter this loss of life.
+ Bog Initiate
Bog Initiate
Bog InitiateSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
95
Artist:
rk post
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1: Add B to your mana pool.
+ Drain Life
Drain Life
Drain LifeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Drain Life does 1 damage to a single target for each B spent in addition to the casting cost. Caster gains 1 life for each damage inflicted. If you drain life from a creature, you cannot gain more life than the creature's current toughness.
sprees.

What is a casual Spike player to do, then? A rather unlikely solution: Life gain!

Life gain is generally a bad strategy, unless you decide to go with a Test of Endurance
Test of Endurance
Test of EnduranceSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
29
Artist:
Mike Ploog

Text:
At the begining of your upkeep, if you have 50 or more life, you win the game.
deck. You're still likely to get beaten down to a bloody pulp, it'll just take longer. So, traditional life-gain, like Stream of Life
Stream of Life
Stream of LifeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Target player gains X life.
or Healing Salve
Healing Salve
Healing SalveSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Gain 3 life, or prevent up to 3 damage from being dealt to a single target.
isn't going to cut it.

What about Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon WarhammerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
201
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature gets +3/+0, has trample, and has 'Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life.' Equip 3 (3: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
?

Wonder
Wonder
WonderSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
U
Number:
54
Artist:
Rebecca Guay

Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying As long as Wonder is in your graveyard and you control an island, creatures you control have flying.
ful. Now we just need a big fatty to strap it to. The lower-costing the better.

What about Deep-Sea Kraken?

I'm serious. No, really. He's a 3 drop. It's multiplayer, remember? You've got what, 5 people in your group? They all play what, a spell or two a turn? The last time I played Deep-Sea Kraken, he was effectively Suspend - 1. Oh yeah, and he's unblockable to boot!

Very well. So, we've got the core of our deck figured out: Get a Deep-Sea Kraken out, strap on the Warhammer, and start dishing out 9 unblockable damage a turn, gaining 9 life a turn. That's an 18 life swing, Holmes!

+4 Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon WarhammerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
201
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature gets +3/+0, has trample, and has 'Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life.' Equip 3 (3: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
, +4 Deep-Sea Kraken.

Now, something that big is sure to attract some attention, so let's give him shroud:

4x Whispersilk Cloak
Whispersilk Cloak
Whispersilk CloakSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
160
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature is unblockable and can't be the target of spells or abilities. Equip 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)


And speaking of unblockable guys that help us gain life:

+3 Azorius Herald
Azorius Herald
Azorius HeraldSet: Dissension
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
2
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Azorius Herald is unblockable. When Azorius Herald comes into play, you gain 4 life. When Azorius Herald comes into play, sacrifice it unless
U was spent to play it.

(Alternatively, Descendant of Kiyomaro
Descendant of Kiyomaro
Descendant of KiyomaroSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
U
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
As long as you have more cards in hand than each opponent, Descendant of Kiyomaro gets +1/+2 and has "Whenever this creature deals combat damage, you gain 3 life."
, for more life-gain goodness. The only catch is that you have to have more cards in hand than each opponent, so it might be useful if you have any power card drawing spells lying around, like Arcanis the Omnipotent
Arcanis the Omnipotent
Arcanis the OmnipotentSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
66
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
T: Draw three cards.. 2UU: Return Arcanis the Omnipotent to its owner's hand.
or Ancestral Recall
Ancestral Recall
Ancestral RecallSet: Alpha
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Draw 3 cards or force opponent to draw 3 cards.
.)

Now, we'll add some Dizzy Spell
Dizzy Spell
Dizzy SpellSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Target creature gets -3/-0 until end of turn. Transmute 1UU (1UU, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with the same converted mana cost as this card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play only as a sorcery.)
s. Dizzy Spell
Dizzy Spell
Dizzy SpellSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Target creature gets -3/-0 until end of turn. Transmute 1UU (1UU, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with the same converted mana cost as this card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play only as a sorcery.)
is a great transmute spell as you'll see later, and it also helps protect our precious, precious life total as well, in a pinch.

+4 Dizzy Spell
Dizzy Spell
Dizzy SpellSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Target creature gets -3/-0 until end of turn. Transmute 1UU (1UU, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with the same converted mana cost as this card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play only as a sorcery.)


Now, what's better than smacking for 9? Smacking for 18, obviously!

+4 Fireshrieker
Fireshrieker
FireshriekerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
171
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Equipped creature has double strike. (It deals both first-strike and regular combat damage.) Equip 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)


And, since we now have two pretty-much requisite equipments at the 3-mana price point, we should be able to transmute for them!

+4 Drift of Phantasms
Drift of Phantasms
Drift of PhantasmsSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
46
Artist:
Michael Phillippi
Power:
0
Toughness:
5
Text:
Defender (This creature can’t attack.) Flying Transmute 1UU (1UU, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with the same converted mana cost as this card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play only as a sorcery.)
(Which, conveniently enough, also provides an early blocker)

With all that tutoring, we're doing a lot of shuffling. We should probably capitalize on it...

+3 Sensei's Divining Top
Sensei's Divining Top
Sensei's Divining TopSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
268
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
1: Look at the top three cards of your library, then put them back in any order. T: Draw a card, then put Sensei's Divining Top on top of its owner's library.
(Also transmutable :D)

Of course, where would we be without land...

+10 Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.
, +14 Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
s

We're at 51 cards right now - and we're missing one essential component: Ways to not get smacked in the face ourselves! Combat tricks are going to be the name of the game, here.

If you have 4x Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.
in your card pool, go ahead and toss 3-4 of those in. For those of us that are playing this game on a college-student budget, we'll have to suffice with cheaper alternatives that will help us stay in the game.

+ 3 Holy Day
Holy Day
Holy DaySet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Justin Hampton
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is assigned.
, 1 Angel's Grace
Angel's Grace
Angel's GraceSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
3
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Split second (As long as this spell is on the stack, players can't play spells or activated abilities that aren't mana abilities.) You can't lose the game this turn and your opponents can't win the game this turn. Until end of turn, damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.
(Both of which can be transmuted!)

And, why not some card draw?

+2 Whispers of the Muse
Whispers of the Muse
Whispers of the MuseSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
Buyback 5 (You may pay an additional 5 when you play this spell. If you do, put it into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Draw a card.


And, are your friends not playing enough spells? Why not take those time counters off yourself?

+ 3 Dust of Moments
Dust of Moments
Dust of MomentsSet: Future Sight
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
5
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
Choose one - Remove two time counters from each permanent and each suspended card, or put two time counters on each permanent with a time counter on it and each suspended card.
(Can also be transmuted!)

If you feel like adding rares to the deck, here's a good list of suggestions:

Reverse Damage
Reverse Damage
Reverse DamageSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All damage you have taken from any one source this turn is added to your life total instead of subtracted from it.

Test of Endurance
Test of Endurance
Test of EnduranceSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
29
Artist:
Mike Ploog

Text:
At the begining of your upkeep, if you have 50 or more life, you win the game.

Pulse of the Grid
Pulse of the Grid
Pulse of the GridSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
29
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
Draw two cards then discard a card from your hand. Then if an opponent has more cards in hand than you return Pulse of the Grid to owner's hand. Before lessons and laboratories there was intuition.

Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.

Cunning Wish
Cunning Wish
Cunning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Jim Nelson

Text:
Choose an instant you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Cunning Wish from the game.
(+ a lot of side-boarded 1-of instants)
Pickles Combo

The decklist as it stands:

Blue (14)
4: Deep-Sea Kraken
4: Drift of Phantasms
Drift of Phantasms
Drift of PhantasmsSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
46
Artist:
Michael Phillippi
Power:
0
Toughness:
5
Text:
Defender (This creature can’t attack.) Flying Transmute 1UU (1UU, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with the same converted mana cost as this card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play only as a sorcery.)

4: Dizzy Spell
Dizzy Spell
Dizzy SpellSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Target creature gets -3/-0 until end of turn. Transmute 1UU (1UU, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with the same converted mana cost as this card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play only as a sorcery.)

2: Whispers of the Muse
Whispers of the Muse
Whispers of the MuseSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
Buyback 5 (You may pay an additional 5 when you play this spell. If you do, put it into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Draw a card.



White (10)
3: Holy Day
Holy Day
Holy DaySet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Justin Hampton
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is assigned.

1: Angel's Grace
Angel's Grace
Angel's GraceSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
3
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Split second (As long as this spell is on the stack, players can't play spells or activated abilities that aren't mana abilities.) You can't lose the game this turn and your opponents can't win the game this turn. Until end of turn, damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.

3: Dust of Moments
Dust of Moments
Dust of MomentsSet: Future Sight
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
5
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
Choose one - Remove two time counters from each permanent and each suspended card, or put two time counters on each permanent with a time counter on it and each suspended card.

3: Azorius Herald
Azorius Herald
Azorius HeraldSet: Dissension
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
2
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Azorius Herald is unblockable. When Azorius Herald comes into play, you gain 4 life. When Azorius Herald comes into play, sacrifice it unless
U was spent to play it.



Artifacts: (11)
4: Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon WarhammerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
201
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature gets +3/+0, has trample, and has 'Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life.' Equip 3 (3: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)

4: Fireshrieker
Fireshrieker
FireshriekerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
171
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Equipped creature has double strike. (It deals both first-strike and regular combat damage.) Equip 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)

4: Whispersilk Cloak
Whispersilk Cloak
Whispersilk CloakSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
C
Number:
160
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature is unblockable and can't be the target of spells or abilities. Equip 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)

3: Sensei's Divining Top
Sensei's Divining Top
Sensei's Divining TopSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
268
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
1: Look at the top three cards of your library, then put them back in any order. T: Draw a card, then put Sensei's Divining Top on top of its owner's library.


Land: (24)
10: Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

14: Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.


The best part about this deck is that it weighs in at a nice and lean $20 - easily classified as budget range. Have fun putting yourself easily out of reach of enemy burn spells, and outdamaging your enemies by a fair margin while they try in vain to Hurricane
Hurricane
HurricaneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
All players and flying creatures suffer X damage.
you to death.

Sorry
Sorry
SorrySet: Unglued
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
27
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
Before playing any spell, if a copy of that spell card is in any graveyard, the spell's caster may say Sorry. If he or she does not, any other player may counter the spell by saying Sorry as it is cast.If any player says Sorry at any other time, Sorry deals 2 damage to that player.
Dan, the only frag you'll be getting today is your own.


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